Gram loved sweets. Chocolate bars in the fridge and in the cupboard, boxes and tins full of homemade cookies, ice cream in the freezer, and there were always, always, popsicles in the extra freezer in the garage on hot days where we would watch the Cubs game on a small antenna t.v. I'm talking the days of Ryne Sandberg and Harry Caray, when Summer used to last forever and all I cared about was riding bikes with my cousins and reading as many books as I could get my hands on. Those were the days.
This brownie recipe is very dear to my heart, and is something my great grandmother would make at holidays or for one of the grandkid's birthdays. The brownie is rich and fudgey, dense and chewy while still retaining a bit of a crumb. The pecans add a nice crunchy texture and the frosting, oh the frosting! As if this brownie wasn't decadent enough, the mocha flavored frosting adds a creaminess and extra sugar rush that gets your body buzzing. Literally. This brownie does not mess around, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did growing up.
For me this is more than just a recipe, it is a lifeline to the generations of strong women that inspired and shaped me into the person I am today. Through photos, stories and the food you so lovingly prepared- Gram, your memory will forever be in my heart.
In loving memory of Grandma Phyllis March 13, 1917-July 15, 2011
Gram's Fudge Brownies
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
4, 4 oz. packages of Nestle Choco Bake**
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
dash of salt
2 1/4 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 1/4 tablespoons warm coffee
3/8 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
**Nestle Choco Bake is almost impossible to find in grocery stores. It is basically liquid baking chocolate and can be substituted by mixing 3 cups of cocoa powder with 1 cup of canola oil and whisking until it turns into a thick chocolate slurry. This will make enough for the 16 oz. of Choco Bake required for this recipe.
Nestle Choco Bake substitution
Grease and flour a 13 x 9 x 2" baking pan. Cream butter and sugar together, then add vanilla and eggs. Beat until light and fluffy. Next add Choco Bake (or Choco Bake substitution) and mix well. Add flour and salt mixing until combined and then fold in nuts. Pour into the baking pan and spread into an even layer. Bake for 30-45 minutes.
Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl, and beat until the frosting is creamy and smooth.
Once the brownies have cooled, spread an even layer of frosting on top.